NE Bedfordshire MP faces backlash following ‘plodder’ comments in radio interview

Richard Fuller MP was interviews on LBC about the 'mini-budget' yesterday (23 September) Image LBC/Global
Richard Fuller MP was interviews on LBC about the 'mini-budget' yesterday (23 September) Image LBC/Global

The MP for NE Bedfordshire has faced a backlash following comments he made in a radio interview on LBC yesterday afternoon (Friday).

Richard Fuller MP (Conservative), a treasury minister in Liz Truss’ new government, was being interviewed by Tom Swarbrick following Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget announcement which included the biggest tax cuts since 1972.

You can listen to the interview here.

Mr Fuller suggested that the budget announcement would incentivise young people to take more risks with their money.

But he has faced criticism after suggesting hard-working young people were ‘plodding’ along by letting their money sit ‘idle’ in their bank accounts.

“When I was about 25, actually ironically, that was about the time that we had a Conservative government that was looking to cut taxes, and what I felt then, was this meant opportunity for me,” Mr Fuller told host Tom Swarbrick.

“This meant that if I took a risk with the way I wanted to run my career if I didn’t go down the plodding path of just step by step I would have a government that was on my side. It encouraged me to look at things like venture capital. It encouraged me to look at ways in which I could grow my business.

The presenter – a former advisor to PM Teresa May – suggested that 25-year-olds in 2022 don’t have any capital to risk.

Mr Fuller replied: “I didn’t have any capital either. It’s not a matter of having capital to risk – it’s about motivation.

“It is about saying that when you are 24, 25 that this government is saying we want the country to grow, the economy.

“If you are 25 and 26 we want to give you the opportunity to say ‘Hey if I’m successful, I can keep more of my money if I’m successful – the incentives for me to take that risk not to do the plodding normal thing.

“We want to encourage you to do that, and we’ve taken steps today to do that.”

Following the growth statement announcement by the Chancellor, Richard faced a tirade of criticism on his own Facebook page and on Twitter.

One comment said, “Unless I am misunderstanding, entirely normal behaviour – doing your job, saving for your future is not enough, and you need motivating to invest in riskier schemes rather than “plodding.”

A comment on Mr Fuller’s Facebook page said, “…I’ve just seen your delightful interview telling 25 and 26-year-olds to stop ‘plodding along’ and to use their savings to effectively build their wealth. Shows how completely out of touch you all are.”

Mr Fuller said that the announcement by the Chancellor was “one of the biggest opportunity budgets there’s been,” and that we should be celebrating the rewards for growth.

And although there are no forecasts for the impact of the announced measures on growth, he said it was based on the government’s trust “rather than hope” in the public to do their bit to grow the economy.

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